|Vehicle Type||High altitude rail transport|
|Passengers||Many, in reallocated cargo areas|
|Behind the scenes|
|Appearances||TRON, TRON: Evolution, TRON: Legacy, Solar Sailer Prisoners|
The Solar Sailer is a simulation of a futuristic bulk transport vehicle, that was used by Tron, Flynn and Yori to escape from the Game Grid and reach the MCP. When idle, its sails are translucent; however, for faster speeds, the sails turn opaque and give the solar sailer a tremendous boost in speed. The sailer flies on (according to the script) "data transmission beams" that send information to other parts of a local computer. These beams could conduct power surges if the data stream is too strong and could cause immobility and slowly derez the sailer. If a power surge is encountered, the pilot must switch to a different beam via a junction immediately or the sailer will derez.
In TRON: Legacy, the sailer's appearance has undergone a radical redesign, with folding sails and being substantially larger. It is described as serving as a "freight train". The upper decks are little more than a narrow catwalk spanning the length of the ship, and stairs below reach to similar narrow passages in a cargo hold wrapped around the central data conduit.
In the graphic novel TRON: Betrayal, Kevin Flynn created a transport vehicle similar to the solar sailer and crashed it into a building. Luckily Tron was there to save Flynn from his fall.
After Tron received the data needed to destroy the MCP, Tron and Yori used the solar sailer to escape the Game Grid. Flynn (disguised as one of Sark's army members) hung on to the side edge of the sailer as Tron took out the other enemy programs. It wasn't until later that Tron found Flynn hanging on the side of the sailer and picked him up.
As the solar sailer reached near the end of a canyon which was near to the MCP, it crashed into Sark's carrier in an ambush and Tron fell off. Yori and Flynn hung on to what remained of the vessel as the wreckage was sucked into the carrier's hangar. Soon after, before disembarking in his escape pod, Sark mentions catching another simulation to return back to the Game Grid.
In TRON: Legacy, Flynn and his companions find an unmanned solar sailer preparing to depart from Tron City and heading towards their destination, the Portal. They stow away aboard the sailer, later to discover the sailer's cargo to be enslaved programs and its destination to be a carrier ship constructed by Clu.
The Solar Sailer's Purpose
In the movie, there is no real explanation as to why there's a solar sailer in the first place, but the script gives a reason as to why it was built:
Digitized by Guy G. Gordon Special thanks to Bryan Duarte for the physical copy of the script Fourth Draft Screenplay by Charlie Haas April 6, 1981 419 A SHOT FROM THE SIDE OF THE SAILER, RISING WITH TRON 419 AND YORI We see that this vessel is a simulation of a futuristic spacecraft, designed for travel in the real world using solar energy, with an enormous metallic sail to catch the rays of sunlight like wind, and move with the speed of light. The sail is at the bow of the craft, and a long, slender walkway connects it with the deck area, which is made up of several connected flattened box-shapes, giving it the look of a dragonfly. In this world, the sailer catches data transmission beams instead of sunlight, and is propelled along the information paths to the Central Processing Unit. TRON V.O. Can it carry us? YORI V.0. The design is good... We don't know why the User abandoned the project... The elevator platform brings Tron and Yori through the center, forming part of the deck as it reaches a level position, locked into place.